There have been moments in my life when I have felt sad and disappointed at what appeared to be a lack of honesty in the world around me.
I wished that people would simply come out and say what they mean. I wished they would tell me when I had hurt their feelings, or check with me for the true meaning of what I was saying rather than assuming they knew. I felt that I was learning the ropes, stumbling blindly through social situations, trying things out - often blundering as I went. It seemed that everyone else knew how to do the social relationships thing, whereas somehow I had missed out on that very important gene.
I also recall thinking that if dishonesty and judgement of others was the way to make it all work, then I was much better off without it.
In recent years, I found a person who is willing to step closer to the fire, risk getting burned by my response - because she believes in honesty in friendship too.
She gently holds up the mirror and says "this is how it looks from out here - is that what you are hoping to project?".
Sometimes my answer to her question about what I am putting out there is "yes I can live with that" and sometimes its "ummm, wow, no that was not my intention at all".
Having this person around has taught me to be more honest, more brave, less concerned with the impression I am making. She helps me focus on the values I hold and match my behaviour to those values. As a result I feel more authentic.
It's a huge and important role she plays in my life - one I am extremely thankful for.
There may be someone in your life, who for the best reasons, is there right behind you. This person is human rather than perfect. They have their own stuff they are working out too... but when it comes to you, they are on your team. They are there gently saying "are you sure this is what you want?". They know you don't have all the answers. They offer you that knowledge without judgement.
They invite you to self-reflect without shame.
They have your back.
Who is that person in your life? And for whom do you play that role?